OMAHA — He's regarded by most as the best high school wide receiver in the state.
His father is a former Nebraska wingback (back when the Huskers had wingbacks), and the proud owner of two national championship rings.
Even so, CJ Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior at Bellevue West, must prove himself to certain folks.
Not that he minds. After all, he's playing the recruiting game this summer with a smile. With style. With confidence. With grace. He's a graceful athlete "with a lot of natural ability," his father said.
CJ Johnson obviously possesses a degree of competitiveness. That's a good thing because, in his world, the recruiting game's intensity is about to heat up.
During the next two weeks, Johnson will attend summer camps at Nebraska and Wisconsin, hoping to earn scholarship offers.
No stress or anything.
Actually, Johnson will forever remember this period of his life.
He's essentially in the midst of charting his course for the future, the way his dad did in Lincoln from 1991-95.
CJ Johnson is playing a game in which hundreds of prospects partake. College coaches often ask players to perform drills — rep after rep after rep — before forwarding a scholarship offer. Coaches want an up-close-and-personal look at speed and strength and savvy and personality.
Johnson will attend Nebraska's camp Monday.
"I think an offer will be coming from them," he said Tuesday during a break on the final day of the five-day Omaha MG Camp at Omaha Burke.
On June 15, Johnson will be at Wisconsin.
Two Nebraska high school players — offensive lineman Michael Decker of Omaha North and defensive end DaiShon Neal of Omaha Central — have verbally committed to the Huskers' class of 2015.
"The Nebraska coaches said they really wanted me to come down and work out in front of them," Johnson said. "I'll give them everything I got."
As for the Badgers, "They said the same thing — come here and work out," Johnson said. "I think if Nebraska and Wisconsin hop on, a couple more schools will."
Johnson caught 79 passes for 1,364 yards last season. He already has scholarship offers from Wyoming, Western Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota State and North Dakota State. Even so, he knows he has some things to prove to coaches.
"I really want to show off my explosiveness," he said. "That's what (coaches) have all been worried about — my explosiveness and speed. I want to show I've been working on that and have gotten better.
"I want to show some good route-running and an ability to create some separation (from defensive backs)."
His Rivals.com bio says he's run the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds. That was a hand-held time — he said he hasn't been timed electronically. But he's clearly confident in his speed.
You have to like his willingness to compete against the very best.
On Sunday, he participated in a Nike Training Camp at Ohio State. He had been invited to a Nike camp in Chicago, but his prom was that weekend, so he waited for the Ohio State weekend.
The competition there was intense.
He held his own "pretty well," he said.
All in all, it seems the recruiting game is going well for Johnson. His dad feels fortunate. Of course, it could get much better. At Nebraska, the younger Johnson feels he has an ally in assistant coach Barney Cotton, who handles in-state recruiting.
"He said he's really pushing for an offer," Johnson said. "That's what we're hoping."
Through it all, Clester Johnson maintains a low profile. He said he's spoken to Cotton only once. Clester can be an opinionated sort. Let's just say he is an enthusiastic advocate for in-state players, not just his son.
Clester and CJ have what appears to be an excellent relationship. Dad's advice to son: Compete on every repetition as if you're facing a defensive back from Michigan State or Georgia or some other high-level defense.
It's advice that could come in handy during the next couple of weeks.